Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Illamasqua Freckle Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Freckle Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Freckle Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled tan.” It’s a light-medium beige brown cream base color paired with small black glitter and larger, hexagon-shaped black glitter. Zoya Minka is a lighter, more beige-hued color. It was the only shade that came to mind that might be similar to the base color of Freckle (and it’s not close).

Like the other shades in the speckled family, it was a breeze to apply and work with.  The color coverage was fully opaque after two coats, but one coat still had a surprising amount of opacity.  It flowed well across the nail without pooling along the edges, bubbling, or streaking.  I didn’t have any streaking on the first coat with this shade, though it was not too surprising given it is not nearly as light or pastel as the other colors in the range.  I usually find that Illamasqua’s polish wears exceptionally well on me with ten to fourteen days of wear with minimal tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Freckle

A+
This is definitely a love it or leave it kind of shade; it's definitely not a traditional shade we see for spring. The formula was great, so if you're in the love it camp, you have something unique and high quality available to you.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Urban Decay Radium Eyeshadow
Urban Decay Radium Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Radium Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “peacock blue shimmer.” It’s a bold, bright medium blue with cool undertones and a frosted finish. Buxom Bulldog is a touch darker and is a cream product. NYX Kiss in Casablanca is less frosted but very similar in color. MAC Pure Creation is darker, more muted, and a cream product.

This shade was once a palette-exclusive, but when Urban Decay reformulated their eyeshadows, it made it into their permanent range. It was one of my favorite shades then, and it’s one of my favorite shades now. The texture is soft, buttery, and dense; so smooth and intensely pigmented, Radium is a dream to work with. Whether you want rich color or need to blend it out to soften, both are easily achieved. It lasted a full nine hours on me without creasing or fading.

The Glossover

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Radium

A+
Rich in color payoff, soft, blendable texture, and long-wear? How can you go wrong?

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Illamasqua Scarce Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarce Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Scarce Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled pink.” It starts off with a creamy, light-medium pink with subtle yellow undertones base layered with small pieces of black glitter and larger hexagon-shaped pieces of black glitter. The way it’s all mixed together makes some pieces appear blacker/grayer. I couldn’t think of a similar base color; Nubar Pink Lily is lighter and cooler-toned, while Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie is more beige, less pink. Deborah Lippmann has shade that has pink with black glitter debuting in April.

It was fully opaque in two coats, but it was very nearly opaque in a single coat. The truly remarkable feature of the formula is how evenly it applies; I found that this shade was almost streak-free on the first coat. A second coat completely evened out what little streaking there was so that the end result was creamy, smooth color. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and the drying time was average. I typically get at least a full week of wear with minimal tip wear but no chipping with Illamasqua’s formula, but I’ve tested some shades and have had no chipping for as long as two weeks (which is extraordinary, even for me).

The Glossover

LE
product

Scarce

A+

I think it's definitely worth the time to check out one of Illamasqua's speckled polishes. They've been very consistent in quality, coverage, and application--so it's a matter of what color best appeals to you!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Saturday, March 9th, 2013

NARS Lodhi Satin Lip Pencil
NARS Lodhi Satin Lip Pencil

NARS Lodhi Satin Lip Pencil ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “vibrant coral.” It’s a brightened, orange-coral with warm undertones and a creamy, satiny finish. MAC Style Surge is very similar, but it is more pink-tinted. MAC Vegas Volt is darker and has some pink/red tinge. OCC Electric Grandma is more orange and shimmery.

It had rich, opaque color coverage, and it applied evenly, smoothly, and easily onto the lips. Lodhi had a creamy, lightweight texture that glided across lips with ease–no tugging or pulling–and felt comfortable to wear during the five and a half hours this wore for. So far, this is the most hydrating shade I’ve tried from NARS’ new range. I’d actually describe it as hydrating, rather than just slightly!  It’s packaged in pencil form, and it does require sharpening. It is not nearly as soft as the Velvet Glosses but a touch softer than the Velvet Mattes.

The Glossover

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product

Lodhi

A+
Lodhi was hydrating, wore well, and had excellent color payoff--it really hit on all the characteristics NARS called out for the new formula. If only it was twist-up!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Illamasqua Mottle Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Mottle Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Mottle Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled green.” It’s a pale, pastel green with very subtle yellow undertones with small black glitter and larger, hexagon-shaped black glitter pieces. I couldn’t even think of a dupe for the base color, let alone one with both components! I was totally stumped. A few readers have mentioned that Hard Candy has dupes for Illamasqua’s speckled polishes. I haven’t seen Hard Candy’s in person, but from promo photos, it looks like the glitter is smaller and more circular with a combination of white and black glitters (and it seems to vary depending on the base color), but both brands are using pastel base colors with glitter to give it a speckled/sprinkled effect. Deborah Lippmann’s Staccato Collection also features three pastel-hued colors with small black glitter (bottle photos suggest that Deborah Lippmann and Hard Candy’s are closer to each other).  I haven’t seen Deborah Lippmann’s in person either. You may prefer the effect or composition over the other, so pick your poison! :)

Mottle is incredibly pigmented in one coat, though not opaque, I still thought it worth showing and left my pinky fingernail with a single coat, so you could see how much color is deposited in one coat.  You can also see how there’s almost no streaking to speak of, which is always a relief after working with a pastel color!  The consistency of the formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it applied evenly and fluidly. I didn’t have any issues with it pulling, pooling, or bubbling.  It has an interesting finish that seems like a cream, but there’s a slight squishy look to it, too, that makes me think of jelly polishes.  Illamasqua’s formula is one of the longest-wearing polishes on me (as long as fourteen days with minimal tip wear and no chipping).

The Glossover

LE
product

Mottle

A+
It has an interesting finish that seems like a cream, but there's a slight squishy look to it, too, that makes me think of jelly polishes.  Illamasqua's formula is one of the longest-wearing polishes on me (as long as fourteen days with minimal tip wear and no chipping).

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Illamasqua Fragile Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Fragile Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Fragile Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled blue.” It’s a pale, airy blue cream base with small black glitter and then larger hexagon-shaped black glitter. I don’t have any specific dupes that mimic both the blue base and the accompanying black glitter pieces, but you might have a top coat that’s similar in glitter content, so I’d recommend trying it with these potential shades (that are similar to the blue base color): Zoya Blu and NARS Kutki.

The most remarkable aspect of Illamasqua’s spring polishes is really how well they apply. Sometimes, pastel creams can be streaky messes and a pain to deal with, but Illamasqua nailed the formula here. The consistency isn’t too thick or too thin, so it flowed evenly and easily across the nail, and there was minimal streaking on that first, initial coat, but a second coat evened everything out. It was opaque in two coats, and the finish is a cross between a traditional cream and a jelly–there’s a squishy-look to the nails. I usually get as long as fourteen days of wear out of Illamasqua, and it is one of the best-wearing formulas I’ve come across.

This shade is currently showing as out of stock online, though you can locate it at your local store through the online “find in store” feature. I’ve been seeing a few shades pop in and out of stock, so hopefully it’ll reappear soon.

The Glossover

LE
product

Fragile

A+
The most remarkable aspect of Illamasqua's spring polishes is really how well they apply. Sometimes, pastel creams can be streaky messes and a pain to deal with, but Illamasqua nailed the formula here.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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